Wood Species Information.  

The twelve most popular hardwood floor species sold in Vancouver area British Columbia.

Wood species for wood flooring & stairs applications

Slide Chart of common wood species used as flooring or stairs.

AHF All types of hardwood floors I rescued these wood floor species demonstrations for oil and water borne floor finish differences , The obvious difference between a amber toned polyurethane and an opaque murky water borne acrylic on these  wood species samples.  Not shown in Glitsa gold seal or moisture cured urethane. The wood species samples allow you to see only the general characteristics of the grain and tone of the wood.

Ash-Fraxinus americana
Birch-Betula spp

Beech/Beach-Fagus grandifolia

Brazilian Cherry-Jatoba

American black Cherry-Prunus serotina

Australian Cypress-Callitris glauca

Hickory/Pecan-Carya spp

Mahogany/Santos/Doussie/Myroxylon balsa mum

Maple/Hard Sugar-Acer saccharum

Red Oak-Quercus spp

American Black Walnut-Jaglans nigra

White Oak-Quercus alba
Wood species for floors of Vancouver's diverse west coast climate!

The twelve most popular hardwood floor species sold in Vancouver area British Columbia with fair and competitive prices and costs for high quality hardwood floor and stairs applications such as installation or laying of hardwood and soft wood floors and stairs.

* AHF all hardwood floor Ltd. services wood floor sanding and refinishing staining wooden floors to look like real wood species naturally do. Quality hardwood flooring installed carefully by the hands of a passionate dedicated and determined hardwood floor craftsmen of 33 years of experience near Vancouver BC.

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Ash (Fraxinus americana) Color: Heartwood is light tan to dark  brown; sapwood is creamy white. Similar to  white oak but more yellow .  Grain: Bold, straight, moderately open  grain with occasional wavy figuring, and  can have strong contract in grain in  plain sawn boards.  Properties: Hardness: 1230% Janka Table,  2% harder than Northern red oak Durability:  Elastic, hard, excellent shock resistance .
Birch (Betula spp)

Color: Sapwood is creamy yellow or pale white in yellow birch; heartwood is light reddish brown tinged with red. Sweet birch has light colored sapwood and heartwood is dark brown tinged with red. Grain: Medium figuring, straight, closed grain, even textured. Occasional curly grain or wavy figure in some boards. Properties: Hardness:1260 Janka Table, 2% softer than Northern red oak. Durability: Hard and stiff; very strong.

Beech (Fagus grandifolia) 

Color: Reddish brown heartwood, with pale white sapwood

Grain Mostly closed, straight grain, uniform texture. Coarser than European beech

Properties: Hardness:1300% Janka Table, 1% harder than Northern red oak  Durability: Elastic, hard; excellent shock resistance. Wears wells, stays smooth when subjected to friction floors small veins of open grain do not tend to scallop

Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba)

Color: sapwood is gray-white; heartwood is salmon red to orange-brown when fresh, and becomes russet or reddish brown when seasoned; often marked with dark streaks.

Grain: Mostly interlocked; texture is medium to rather course.

Properties: Hardness: 2350 Janka Table,82% harder than Northern red oak .  Durability: Dense and very strong.

 Cherry (Black) (Prunus serotina)

Color: Heartwood is dark to reddish brown, lustrous; sapwood is light brown to pale with a light pinkish tone. Some manufacturers steam lumber to bleed the darker heartwood color into the sapwood, resulting in a more uniform color.

Grain: Fine, frequently wavy, uniform  texture. True quarter sawn has distinctive flake pattern. Texture is satiny, with some gum pockets.

Properties: Hardness: 950 Janka Table, 26% softer than Northern red oak Durability: Strong, moderately hard. Usually considered too soft for entire floors mostly used for accents features and borders

Australian Cypress(Callitris glauca)

Color: Sapwood is cream colored; heartwood is honey-gold to brown with  darker knots throughout.

Grain: Closed

Properties: Hardness: 1375%, Janka Table,6% harder than Northern red oak .  Durability: Excellent

 Hickory/Pecan (Carya spp)

Color: Pecan heartwood is reddish brown with dark brown stripes; sapwood is white or creamy white with pinkish tones. Hickory heartwood is tan or reddish; sapwood is white to cream, with fine brown lines.

Grain: Pecan is open, occasionally is wavy or irregular. Hickory is closed cell structure, with moderate definition; somewhat rough-textured.

Properties: Hardness: 1820 Janka Table, 41% harder than Northern red oak Durability: Combination of strength, hardness, toughness and stiffness not found in other commercial wood.

Mahogany (Santos) (Myroxylon balsa mum)similar to Doussie

Dark reddish brown

Grain: Striped figuring in  quarter sawn selections; texture is even and very fine. similar to ribbon grain

Properties: Hardness: 2200%, Janka Table, 71% harder than Northern red oak. Durability: Excellent

 Maple (Hard/Sugar) (Acer saccharum)

Color: Heartwood is creamy white to light reddish brown; Sapwood is pale to creamy white.

Grain: Closed, subdued grain, with medium figuring and uniform grain texture. Occasionally shows quilted, fiddle back, curly or bird's-eye figuring. Figured boards often culled during grading and sold at a premium.

Properties: Hardness: 1450 Janka Table, 12% harder than Northern red oak Durability: Dense, strong, tough, stiff, often used in bowling alleys and sports floors

Oak (Red) (Quercus spp

Heart and sapwood are similar with sapwood lighter in color; most pieces have a  reddish tone. Slightly redder than white

Grain: Open, slightly coarser (more porous) than white oak. Plain sawn boards have a plumed or flared grain appearance; rift sawn has a tighter grain pattern, low figuring; quarter sawn has a flake pattern, sometimes called tiger oak, tiger rays or butterflies.

Properties: Hardness: 1290 Janka Table(benchmark) Durability: Stiff dense, resist wear, less durable than white oak.

Walnut (American Black) (Jaglans nigra)

Color: Heartwood ranges from a deep, rich dark chocolate brown to a purplish black. Sapwood is nearly white to tan. Difference between heartwood and sapwood is great; some manufacturers stean the wood to bleed the darker heartwood color into the sapwood.

Grain: Mostly straight and open, but some boards have burled or curly grain.

Properties: Hardness: 1010 Janka Table, 22% softer than Northern red oak Durability: Moderately dense, very strong

Oak (White) (Quercus alba)

Heartwood is light brown; some boards may have a pinkish tint or a slight grayish cast. Sapwood is white to cream

Grain: Open, with longer rays than red oak. Occasional crotches, swirls and burls. Plain sawn boards have a plumed or flared grain appearance; rift sawn has a tighter grain pattern, low figuring; quarter sawn has a flake pattern, sometimes called tiger oak, tiger rays, or butterflies.

Properties Hardness: 1360 Janka Table,  5% harder than Northern red oak Durability:  More durable than red oak. Tannic acid in  the wood protects it from fungi and insects

Choosing a wood species?

How to choose a particular wood species to fabricate into a wooden floor or wood stairs case can be anyone's guess unless you happen to know a wood guy? ~ Pro's know!

Let's have a look at a cross section of real hardwood trees  Understanding the wood milling techniques can be very help full in determining the grain patterns !

How wood is milled also determines stability related to expansion/ contraction!

  grains of maple wood tree acer

What's Hot? natural finished real wood species!

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  • All Hardwood floors Installed a great top nailed strip oak floor for us in our basement

    We Choose the old style top nailed strip to match the old hardwood floors in the rest of the house. They were certainly the right floor guys for the job- the finished floor is spectacular. Ken is a real Craftsman. He pays a lot of attention to the details. like the nailing patterns and the boards selection. We gave them the keys and went out of town for a few days to let them work. When we returned the floor was finished. They started  when the said they would and completed the finish on time. I would highly recommend them to anyone . It is a shame to cover the floors with furniture. I only wish that I had Ken add some border features detailing around the edges, To match the other old top nailed wood floors upstairs. We will call them back when we are ready to refinish the rest of the house..

    -- Dave Plant.....East Vancouver, BC
  • From ugly and abused to wow wow and amazing...At our first home we had a bad experience getting our hardwood floor refinished (with another hardwood floor company), So this time I know a bit more going into it....All I can say is Wow, too bad I didn't know of Ken the last time. He is passionate about floors. He is on time, respectful, And I am amazed at how well the floors turned out. I wish I had pictures of before because the floors were so ugly, scratched water and pet stained. Carpet taped, paint, gaps and now you would never know. I would have never guessed that the bedroom floors would have turned out so nice - Just like Ken said when he came out to quote the job, ''he said their would be great color variations and the finish would really bring it all out. Bottom Line is WOW....  Great JOB. Definitely use Ken Again...

    -- Frankandsan....Vancouver, BC
  • My neighbor had Ken refinish some floors in his home and i liked the quality of the work that he had done. A year later I had Ken come in and refinish the whole main floor in my home. I left ken in charge while my family and I vacationed in Victoria for a couple of weeks. Returning home my wife and I were exceptionally pleased. The house was locked up and in one piece, But we were even more surprised by the beauty of our freshly refinished oak hardwood floors. Kens quality of work and eye for detail was astonishing. We never thought that the wood flooring could look as beautiful as they did. I will have All hardwood floors look after all my flooring in the future. Thank you for being so informative and the care you gave our home.

    -- Chuck Woodrough....Vancouver, BC
  • wow WOW wow -Ken Brought life back into our hardwood floors and the results are fantastic beyond our expectations. He is a craftsman, experienced, Knowledgeable, A perfectionist with an eye to detail Which all show up in the final result. Ken is reliable, he is there when he says he is going to be there, which is critical  when doing a multi trade renovation project. He is hardworking and his hours are dictated not by the clock but rather by the completion of the job. He is client oriented and friendly. I found him to be extremely trustworthy which is very important since during the refinishing process with the Glitsa Swedish products it is necessary to vacate the premises for several days and leave your home in his capable hands. A true professional who I would highly recommend .

    -- Leila Rylandsholm....Coquitlam, BC

Sawing logs for specific grain patterns

AHF hardwood floor ltd. uses three different sawing methods on our premium site finished Hardwood flooring!
 Plain sawn, Plain sawn (also called flat sawn) is the most common cut. It produces the maximum yield and therefore costs less. Plain-sawn lumber has varying grain orientations. The grain can run parallel, diagonal or perpendicular to the face of the board. This variation can cause un-even drying which makes the board more likely to warp (cup, twist, and bow). The board will also shrink somewhat in thickness as well as width. A plain sawn floorboard contains more variation than the other two cuts because grain patterns resulting from the growth rings are more obvious.
Quarter sawn, Quarter sawing produces flooring with annual growth rings running almost straight along the face of the board. Quarter sawn flooring materials tend to remain flat despite changes in moisture content and are less likely to shrink. Quarter-sawn flooring also has superior ability to hold paints and stains. This process costs more because quarter sawing requires more time and skill to cut and it yields less board footage from each log.
 Rift sawn, Rift sawn is similar to quarter sawing, but the cut is made at a slightly different angle. Where the quarter sawn boards grain is between 30 degrees and vertical. Rift sawn grain runs between 30 and approximately 60 degrees.


Wood Floor Services:

An old hardwood floor sanding and refinishing can revitalize your environment and bring in the rare earth tones which only natural wood can produce. Sanding the hardwood floors will get rid of that old yellow varnish and I have coatings today that allow us to control the yellow and ambering to our design.. Many of these old homes in the Vancouver area have red oak quarter sawn top nailed strip flooring, the select and no1 common inch and a third is a little more popular

About AHF Hardwood floor refinishing services AHF all hardwood floor ltd accredited member of the Better Business Bureau since 2003 with a A plus rating exceptional quality hardwood floor sanding staining refinishing services including Clarke American wood floor sanders and floor machines. Clarke also provides us with state of the art 2010 compliance Dust collection and containments systems that we had certified by Work Safe BC. . professional flooring contractor, Services, qualifications, apprenticeship, master craftsmen floor layer sander floor finisher Glitsa products services costs free estimates prices reviews, dustless dust free sanding floor all services here at AHF all hardwood floor ltd's Coquitlam home of the Swedish Varnish hardwood floor finisher. AHF floors service ares includes to Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver, Langley, Surrey, Delta, Richmond, Pitt, Meadows Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, Chilliwack, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam, Vancouver North South East West Vancouver BC With Rich features such as top quality hardwood floor and stairs installation craftsmanship for your home